SOPhiA 2021

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Media and Analogy
(Ethics, )

A Almost 100 years ago, Walter Lippman published a scathing critique of democracy in "Public Opinion". Lippman's view is that our opinions on things in the world are formed through estimations and reductions. The world in toto is too complex for us to fully appreciate. In order to overcome this hurdle of excess external stimuli, we as humans estimate the world, and mediate our access to the world such that our experience is manageable. Lippman uses the word stereotype to describe this mediated access. The pictures of the world in our head created by these very estimations, are called pseudo environments. This view can be bolstered and expanded when considered in conjunction with Prof. Douglas Hofstatder's hypothesis of analogy as cognition, and contemporary perturbation theory. I argue that our estimation of the world through analogy and stereotypes, has been hijacked by modern media tactics. Modern media, using anticipatory tools such as recommendations and relational databases, creates ideological isolation and epistemic bubbles. The efficacy of these tools multiply manyfold when examined in the context of our internal pseudo-environment. I believe that the anticipatory tools used by the media, the resulting ideological isolation and epistemic bubbles, and our estimation through analogy and stereotypes, give rise to a perfect storm. Each issue, complex in their own right, exacerbates the others, transforming them into a significantly more complex problem. In this essay I re-construct and update Lippman's position, examine the anticipatory tools in the hands of the media, and explicate how ideological isolation results from the confluence of these problems.

Chair: Francesca Miccoli
Time: 15:20-15:50, 11 September 2021 (Saturday)
Location: SR 1.005
Remark: (Online Talk)

Akhilesh Shridar  
(San Francisco State University , )

Testability and Meaning deco